Australia news September 21, 2011

Arthur 'would do a great job' - Marsh

ESPNcricinfo staff

The former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur would be an excellent mentor for Australia's team if he chose to go for the job, according to the batsman Shaun Marsh. Australia are searching for a new head coach after Tim Nielsen resigned following the series win in Sri Lanka, and Arthur is considered one of the leading candidates.

He was a well-respected coach of South Africa, guiding the team to an away series win over the Australians in 2008-09, before he took up his current position as coach of Western Australia. During his time with the Warriors, Arthur's charges have included Marsh, who made an impressive start to his Test career in Sri Lanka this month.

"He's a fantastic coach. I've loved working with him at WA," Marsh told AAP after returning to Perth on Wednesday. "He's certainly helped my game out a lot and I'm sure if he put his hat in the ring, I'm sure he'd do a great job. He's got a very good cricket brain. You can sit down and talk to him about cricket all day.

"He communicates to his players very well. He's just an all-round nice guy. He was a great international coach for South Africa. I couldn't speak more highly of the guy. But I'm pretty sure that his main priority at the moment is WA cricket. He wants up to perform very well this summer."

Another candidate for the job is Steve Rixon, the former Australia Test wicketkeeper who is now the fielding coach in the national setup. And regardless of whether Rixon gets the job in the long-term, he should be the man to take the reins in an interim role for the upcoming tour of South Africa, according to the former Test batsman and commentator Greg Blewett.

"Justin Langer is already in the system, as is Steve Rixon, and I wouldn't be surprised if they go with Rixon," Blewett said on Fox Sports News. "He is a lot more experienced. He has coached New South Wales and in the UK, so I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the job in the interim. If Langer gets it, he will do a great job. But I wouldn't be surprised if they gave the job to Steve Rixon."

Australia's squad members disbanded in Sri Lanka overnight, with some heading to the Champions League Twenty20 qualifiers in India, and others returning home. The first match on the tour of South Africa is a Twenty20 in Cape Town on October 13. ENDS

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